ARDMORE – The Durant Lions find a new hero each game as their turnaround season rolls on with a 44-40 win over the Tigers on Tuesday.
Skye Lowe finished with 19 points, matching Ardmore’s Dre Johnson bucket-for-bucket in a game-long duel between the two speedy guards. Cameron Scheussler’s fourth quarter outburst helped push the Lions over the top in the closing moments.
The Lions are now 4-3 on the season, picking up their first road win before a 15-day schedule break. They will return to Ardmore for a post-Christmas holiday festival on Dec. 27.
Coach Jason Wilkerson guided the Lions out of an early jam as they fell behind 8-0 to start and still trailed 11-4 at the end of a quarter. Durant went to a more up-tempo rhythm for a lot of transition baskets and virtually returned the favor in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 11-5.
Lowe took over in the second half, scoring 14 of his 19 after the break. His steals and hustle led to a five-point outburst early in the third which gave the Lions their first lead at 21-18. Lowe found Blake Wilson on an outlet pass but he couldn’t finish; a few plays later Wilson found the bucket and pushed the lead to five.
Scheussler used a textbook pivot to make room for a basket late in the third. He finished with 10 points (six in the fourth quarter) and five rebounds.
But Ardmore would close in with eight points from Johnson and a pair of threes for Chantz White. It would take a lot of determined plays and 15-for-18 free throw shooting from the Lions to pull through down the stretch.
Tied at 37 all, a pair of finesse buckets by Scheussler would see Durant go ahead 41-37 before an Ardmore three made it interesting with a minute remaining. The Tigers missed a couple of chances to score in the paint and were forced to put Lowe at the free throw line.
He made one to put the Lions ahead 42-40 with 13 seconds left. Ardmore missed a layup and James Donelan grabbed his eighth rebound and passed the ball to Scheussler who was fouled with four seconds left.
He hit both to put the game out of reach. Behind him and Lowe, three players pitched in four points apiece( Zac Cater, Blake Wilson, Will Engle). Cole Hughes was held to an early bucket for two points, and Donelan scored a single free throw to go with eight boards and half a dozen blocked shots.